WHAT IS MEDIATION?
Mediation allows people to meet in a private setting where a neutral person (a mediator), helps them work out a solution to their problem. The mediator is not a judge, and does not decide who is "right." The parties themselves make the choices that lead to a mutually satisfactory settlement.
How does it work?
Each party describes the dispute from his or her own point of view and offers possible solutions. The mediator helps the parties to focus on the real issues causing the problem, and then helps them to find a workable solution. When the parties arrive at an agreement, the agreement is put in writing.
How do I begin the process?
• If you have an attorney, ask him or her about mediating your case
• You may also contact Mediation & Restorative Services directly
• Our staff will then contact the other party. If the other party also agrees to try mediation, we will schedule a mediation session.
Are there cases that should not be mediated?
• While many problems can be resolved in mediation, you can discuss with our staff whether or not the issues in your case can be mediated
• Cases involving on-going domestic violence should almost never be mediated.
How does mediation affect my legal rights?
Whether or not you reach an agreement in mediation, your legal rights remain intact. You should know your legal rights before attending mediation. Mediators do not offer legal advice, represent parties, or testify at any subsequent hearings that may result if you do not resolve your case in mediation. You are always free to retain the services of an attorney to assist you.
Why try mediation?
• It works. About 80% of all mediations end in agreement, even when other attempts to settle have failed
• It's affordable. Parties split the cost of mediation equally unless otherwise ordered by a judge. Cases mediated early may avoid additional litigation costs
• It's quick. If conducted early, mediation may result in settlement far quicker than waiting until trial to settle
• It's private. Almost everything disclosed during mediation is confidential and cannot be used in a lawsuit
• It's cooperative, not adversarial. Mediation provides a comfortable, safe and respectful setting for discussion. It is not combative as court cases can become
• There's nothing lost by trying!